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Interstrand DNA cross-links (ICLs) block both replication and transcription, and are commonly repaired by the Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway. However, FA-independent repair mechanisms of ICLs remain poorly understood. Here we report a previously uncharacterized protein, SAN1, as a 5' exonuclease that acts independently of the FA pathway in response to ICLs. Deletion of SAN1 in HeLa cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts causes sensitivity to ICLs, which is prevented by re-expression of wild type but not nuclease-dead SAN1. SAN1 deletion causes DNA damage and radial chromosome formation following treatment with Mitomycin C, phenocopying defects in the FA pathway. However, SAN1 deletion is not epistatic with FANCD2, a core FA pathway component. Unexpectedly, SAN1 binds to Senataxin (SETX), an RNA/DNA helicase that resolves R-loops. SAN1-SETX binding is increased by ICLs, and is required to prevent cross-link sensitivity. We propose that SAN1 functions with SETX in a pathway necessary for resistance to ICLs.
The regulation of replication is essential to preserve genome integrity. Mms1 is part of the E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that is linked to replication fork progression. By identifying Mms1 binding sites genome-wide in Saccharomyces cerevisiae we connected Mms1 function to genome integrity and replication fork progression at particular G-rich motifs. This motif can form G-quadruplex (G4) structures in vitro. G4 are stable DNA structures that are known to impede replication fork progression. In the absence of Mms1, genome stability is at risk at these G-rich/G4 regions as demonstrated by gross chromosomal rearrangement assays. Mms1 binds throughout the cell cycle to these G-rich/G4 regions and supports the binding of Pif1 DNA helicase. Based on these data we propose a mechanistic model in which Mms1 binds to specific G-rich/G4 motif located on the lagging strand template for DNA replication and supports Pif1 function, DNA replication and genome integrity.
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.
The ATR replication checkpoint ensures that stalled forks remain stable when replisome movement is impeded. Using an improved iPOND protocol combined with SILAC mass spectrometry, we characterized human replisome dynamics in response to fork stalling. Our data provide a quantitative picture of the replisome and replication stress response proteomes in 32 experimental conditions. Importantly, rather than stabilize the replisome, the checkpoint prevents two distinct types of fork collapse. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of protein abundance on nascent DNA is sufficient to identify protein complexes and place newly identified replisome-associated proteins into functional pathways. As an example, we demonstrate that ZNF644 complexes with the G9a/GLP methyltransferase at replication forks and is needed to prevent replication-associated DNA damage. Our data reveal how the replication checkpoint preserves genome integrity, provide insights into the mechanism of action of ATR inhibitors, and will be a useful resource for replication, DNA repair, and chromatin investigators.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The conformation of an N(2)-dG adduct arising from the heterocyclic amine 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ), a potent food mutagen, was determined in 5'-d(C(1)T(2)C(3)X(4)G(5)C(6)G(7)C(8)C(9)A(10)T(11)C(12))-3':5'-d(G(13)A(14)T(15)G(16)G(17)C(18)G(19)C(20)C(21)G(22)A(23)G(24))-3'; X = N(2)-dG-IQ, in which the modified nucleotide X(4) corresponds to G(1) in the 5'-d(G(1)G(2)CG(3)CC)-3' NarI restriction endonuclease site. Circular dichroism (CD) revealed blue shifts relative to the unmodified duplex, consistent with adduct-induced twisting, and a hypochromic effect for the IQ absorbance in the near UV region. NMR revealed that the N(2)-dG-IQ adduct adopted a base-displaced intercalated conformation in which the modified guanine remained in the anti conformation about the glycosidic bond, the IQ moiety intercalated into the duplex, and the complementary base C(21) was displaced into the major groove. The processing of the N(2)-dG-IQ lesion by hpol η is sequence-dependent; when placed at the reiterated G(3) position, but not at the G(1) position, this lesion exhibits a propensity for frameshift replication [Choi, J. Y., et al. (2006) J. Biol. Chem., 281, 25297-25306]. The structure of the N(2)-dG-IQ adduct at the nonreiterated G(1) position was compared to that of the same adduct placed at the G(3) position [Stavros, K. M., et al. (2014) Nucleic Acids Res., 42, 3450-3463]. CD indicted minimal spectral differences between the G(1) vs G(3) N(2)-dG-IQ adducts. NMR indicated that the N(2)-dG-IQ adduct exhibited similar base-displaced intercalated conformations at both the G(1) and G(3) positions. This result differed as compared to the corresponding C8-dG-IQ adducts placed at the same positions. The C8-dG-IQ adduct adopted a minor groove conformation when placed at position G(1) but a base-displaced intercalated conformation when placed at position G(3) in the NarI sequence. The present studies suggest that differences in lesion bypass by hpol η may be mediated by differences in the 3'-flanking sequences, perhaps modulating the ability to accommodate transient strand slippage intermediates.
Monomeric CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases are widely used for targeted genome editing but can induce unwanted off-target mutations with high frequencies. Here we describe dimeric RNA-guided FokI nucleases (RFNs) that can recognize extended sequences and edit endogenous genes with high efficiencies in human cells. RFN cleavage activity depends strictly on the binding of two guide RNAs (gRNAs) to DNA with a defined spacing and orientation substantially reducing the likelihood that a suitable target site will occur more than once in the genome and therefore improving specificities relative to wild-type Cas9 monomers. RFNs guided by a single gRNA generally induce lower levels of unwanted mutations than matched monomeric Cas9 nickases. In addition, we describe a simple method for expressing multiple gRNAs bearing any 5' end nucleotide, which gives dimeric RFNs a broad targeting range. RFNs combine the ease of RNA-based targeting with the specificity enhancement inherent to dimerization and are likely to be useful in applications that require highly precise genome editing.
2-Amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinolone (IQ), a heterocyclic amine found in cooked meats, undergoes bioactivation to a nitrenium ion, which alkylates guanines at both the C8-dG and N2-dG positions. The conformation of a site-specific N2-dG-IQ adduct in an oligodeoxynucleotide duplex containing the iterated CG repeat restriction site of the NarI endonuclease has been determined. The IQ moiety intercalates, with the IQ H4a and CH3 protons facing the minor groove, and the IQ H7a, H8a and H9a protons facing the major groove. The adducted dG maintains the anti-conformation about the glycosyl bond. The complementary dC is extruded into the major groove. The duplex maintains its thermal stability, which is attributed to stacking between the IQ moiety and the 5'- and 3'-neighboring base pairs. This conformation is compared to that of the C8-dG-IQ adduct in the same sequence, which also formed a 'base-displaced intercalated' conformation. However, the C8-dG-IQ adopted the syn conformation placing the Watson-Crick edge of the modified dG into the major groove. In addition, the C8-dG-IQ adduct was oriented with the IQ CH3 group and H4a and H5a facing the major groove. These differences may lead to differential processing during DNA repair and replication.
PURPOSE - The goal of this study is to optimize the activity of trabectedin for Ewing sarcoma by developing a molecularly targeted combination therapy.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - We have recently shown that trabectedin interferes with the activity of EWS-FLI1 in Ewing sarcoma cells. In this report, we build on this work to develop a trabectedin-based combination therapy with improved EWS-FLI1 suppression that also targets the drug-associated DNA damage to Ewing sarcoma cells.
RESULTS - We demonstrate by siRNA experiments that EWS-FLI1 drives the expression of the Werner syndrome protein (WRN) in Ewing sarcoma cells. Because WRN-deficient cells are known to be hypersensitive to camptothecins, we utilize trabectedin to block EWS-FLI1 activity, suppress WRN expression, and selectively sensitize Ewing sarcoma cells to the DNA-damaging effects of SN38. We show that trabectedin and SN38 are synergistic, demonstrate an increase in DNA double-strand breaks, an accumulation of cells in S-phase and a low picomolar IC50. In addition, SN38 cooperates with trabectedin to augment the suppression of EWS-FLI1 downstream targets, leading to an improved therapeutic index in vivo. These effects translate into the marked regression of two Ewing sarcoma xenografts at a fraction of the dose of camptothecin used in other xenograft studies.
CONCLUSIONS - These results provide the basis and rationale for translating this drug combination to the clinic. In addition, the study highlights an approach that utilizes a targeted agent to interfere with an oncogenic transcription factor and then exploits the resulting changes in gene expression to develop a molecularly targeted combination therapy.
Targeted nucleases are powerful tools for mediating genome alteration with high precision. The RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease from the microbial clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) adaptive immune system can be used to facilitate efficient genome engineering in eukaryotic cells by simply specifying a 20-nt targeting sequence within its guide RNA. Here we describe a set of tools for Cas9-mediated genome editing via nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) or homology-directed repair (HDR) in mammalian cells, as well as generation of modified cell lines for downstream functional studies. To minimize off-target cleavage, we further describe a double-nicking strategy using the Cas9 nickase mutant with paired guide RNAs. This protocol provides experimentally derived guidelines for the selection of target sites, evaluation of cleavage efficiency and analysis of off-target activity. Beginning with target design, gene modifications can be achieved within as little as 1-2 weeks, and modified clonal cell lines can be derived within 2-3 weeks.
A simple and robust method for targeted mutagenesis in zebrafish has long been sought. Previous methods generate monoallelic mutations in the germ line of F0 animals, usually delaying homozygosity for the mutation to the F2 generation. Generation of robust biallelic mutations in the F0 would allow for phenotypic analysis directly in injected animals. Recently the type II prokaryotic clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) system has been adapted to serve as a targeted genome mutagenesis tool. Here we report an improved CRISPR/Cas system in zebrafish with custom guide RNAs and a zebrafish codon-optimized Cas9 protein that efficiently targeted a reporter transgene Tg(-5.1mnx1:egfp) and four endogenous loci (tyr, golden, mitfa, and ddx19). Mutagenesis rates reached 75-99%, indicating that most cells contained biallelic mutations. Recessive null-like phenotypes were observed in four of the five targeting cases, supporting high rates of biallelic gene disruption. We also observed efficient germ-line transmission of the Cas9-induced mutations. Finally, five genomic loci can be targeted simultaneously, resulting in multiple loss-of-function phenotypes in the same injected fish. This CRISPR/Cas9 system represents a highly effective and scalable gene knockout method in zebrafish and has the potential for applications in other model organisms.